Jerusalem - The City of God

The story is told of a North Korean pastor who was arrested by the communist and brainwashed. When his captors thought they had broken him they issued an ultimatum of a public denial of Christ or death.  The day came for him to deny God and blaspheme the name of His Lord. Fe … More

Praise

Most commentators agree this psalm belongs to the time when God overthrew Sennacherib’s hosts before the gates of Jerusalem. Like Psalm 75 it is a hymn of praise. We are told how God is great (v. 1) and His fame is known in (Zion) Jerusalem (v. 2). He is known because of His defeat of the Assyrians. They had conquered city after city and they came to Jerusalem just thinking they would add it to their list of conquests (v. 3). The Assyrian’s defeat was mighty as God in one night of terror and by one single stroke did what mighty armies could never do (v. 4). God does not need armies to defeat armies. He has scores of weapons ready such as earthquakes, floods etc. but in this case it seems that he simply pronounced them dead in their sleep (vv. 5,6)

This passage explains how we have a fearful God (vv. 7-12) who is to be recognized for what He is (vv. 7-9) and to be revered for who He is (vv. 10-12). A God who can act in such vengeance is not a God to be trifled with. We must never allow man to awe us but we must fear God. The last verse of this chapter states, “He shall cut off the spirit of princes: He is terrible to the kings of the earth.” This Assyrian debacle outside the gates of Jerusalem was to be a warning to all other rulers. God is not to be mocked. He can still humble the nations which defy him. No country which forgets God can escape which includes the United States. God is still sovereign in international affairs, a fact that the leaders of all lands would do well to understand.

Application

This is a warning to me that God can still humble kings and nations who refuse to praise Him.

Psalms 76:1-12 (English Standard Version)

In Judah God is known; his name is great in Israel. His abode has been established in Salem, his dwelling place in Zion. There he broke the flashing arrows, the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war. Glorious are you, more majestic than the mountains of prey. The stouthearted were stripped of their spoil; they sank into sleep; all the men of war were unable to use their hands. At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both rider and horse lay stunned. But you, you are to be feared! Who can stand before you when once your anger is roused? From the heavens you uttered judgment; the earth feared and was still, when God arose to establish judgment, to save all the humble of the earth. Surely the wrath of man shall praise you; the remnant of wrath you will put on like a belt. Make your vows to the LORD your God and perform them; let all around him bring gifts to him who is to be feared, who cuts off the spirit of princes, who is to be feared by the kings of the earth.

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